A Shuswap family story.
In 1929 E.A. Palmer and Co Ltd was incorporated to take over the Palmer family's meat and provision business. The general manager was Dick (R.B.) Askew. The new firm quickly leased the Palmer stores in Revelstoke and Salmon Arm. Almost immediately a fire destroyed the Salmon Arm location.
In 1934, the business was moved to Alexander Avenue. At that time a competition was held to choose a new name. The name chosen was Salmon Arm Meat & Produce Co. Ltd.
1930’s and 40’s
Many changes took place over the next years: shopping by mail, meat peddling routes to North and South Canoe, Silver Creek, Notch Hill and Sorrento Blind Bay areas. A special recipe for smoked ham and bacon was developed and marketed as the Kurosweet brand. As Dick and Mary Askew's children grew old enough they all worked in the business.
Groceries were added to the product line and soon 500 frozen food lockers were provided for people to rent for keeping their frozen food. A Kamloops location was added and in 1948 a location in Vernon was opened, managed by Dick's oldest son Lloyd.
1950’s and 60’s Expansion in Salmon Arm
With the death of Dick Askew in 1951, the Vernon location was closed as well as the Revelstoke location. The Salmon Arm store and the Kamloops location remained. The Askew sisters moved away with their husbands, Gordon became a cattle buyer in Nebraska, Donald became a meat salesman in Alberta, David took over the store in Kamloops and Lloyd remained in Salmon Arm to manage the business.
By the mid-1960s Lloyd knew it was time for expansion. Together with his major supplier, Malkins, he began to plan the store that is in its present location on Lakeshore Drive. The official opening took place on Novermber 27, 1967 boasting 8000 sq. ft. of retail space. Since then two more expansions have taken place making a total of 16,500 sq. ft.
1980’s and early 90’s
In 1988, Lloyd's daughter, Karen Angove, returned to Salmon Arm to join the administrative staff to learn the ropes from her father. When Lloyd began to have health problems in the early 1990s she took over management of the company.
1997 Sicamous Askew’s
In 1997, the Askew family, together with a new partner Ron Daniel, built a new store in Sicamous. This store, under the management of Ron Daniel, has been another success story.
In 2007, Karen retired and brother David, eldest son of Lloyd and Dorothy, assumed the reigns as General Manager. In 2010, construction started on the fourth location - Askew's Uptown Salmon Arm. The store opened in July 2012.
1970’s Armstrong Askew’s
In 1975 another location was opened in Armstrong. Brian Hoshizaki, who had been assistant manager in Salmon Arm, became store manager in Armstrong. The local success story has been repeated in Armstrong where expansion has increased the area to 21,233 sq. ft.
Past, Present and Future Community
Throughout the years the Askew's business plan has played an important part in the community. Lloyd Askew summed it up commenting "I'm proud of my family's record of service to the people of Salmon Arm and area. Our rapport with the people of the area has been wonderful. We've tried to play our part in the growth and improvement of the community and, as far as I'm concerned, it would be hard to think of any better place to live than this."